#ThursThreads, week 534


Lucy pried the lid from her coffee and blew on the hot liquid underneath. The rising steam swirled, vanishing as it cooled. She watched the steam for a moment and then turned her reddened eyes to me.

“You’re going to back out now?”

I couldn’t hold her gaze, choosing instead to focus on my hands wrapped around my own cup. “I’m not backing out. Not exactly.”

“Not exactly.” Since we were in public, Lucy modulated her anger, but to anyone who knew her well, there was surgical steel in her voice. “What exactly would you call it?”

“I don’t have a choice.”

“Of course you have a goddamned choice!” Heads turned toward her now, toward me. I pretended I didn’t notice.

But I did. I noticed everything. I had to. It was why I was here.

“You know I don’t. Not really.”

“I don’t care.” Her voice dopped to a whisper. “I want you here.”

I reached for her hand, and thankfully she took it. I craved every one of the last seconds I’d get of her touch. “I know.”

Lucy closed her eyes and took a ragged breath. When she opened them again, there was a different look than I’d expected. “Then I’m coming with you.”

“You-you can’t!”

“I can. You’re going because they need you. Tell me they couldn’t use me, too.”

“I…but Lucy, you’d never be here again. Never see your family. Never…anything.”

“They’re the past now. You – and where we’re going – is the future. Our future.”


#ThursThreads, week 533


“They aren’t real, the monsters.” But Nana whispered when she said that. I knew that if I asked her why she was being quiet, she’d tell me that she was trying to keep me calm.

She’d intended to comfort me until I fell asleep, but she drifted off before I did, and good thing she did. I’d no sooner heard her first soft snores than I caught their scent.

I gently extricated myself from her embrace and padded outside. The moon was merely a crescent, but I wasn’t going to find the monsters with my eyes. Even if they weren’t diaphanous, they moved so quickly that most of the time you’d swear you’d seen was a waving branch or, if you were unlucky enough to have them in your home, the passing of a shadow.

Their nest was up the road and into the pines. The straw cushioned my steps, and I entered the sacred circle without being accosted.

The night air was damp here under the trees, and I breathed deep, letting it fill me. This was a place of power.

My power.

I fingered the necklace I wore, purple amethyst in the shape of a star, then unclasped it. As it fell to the ground, my body went with it, and I joined my family for their nightly hunt.

By morning, I was back in Nana’s arms, and when she stirred, we shared a smile.

I hoped her turn wouldn’t come for a long, long time.


#ThursThreads week 531


She snuggled up to me, the glowing rectangle in her hand the only light on this overcast and moonless night. It still made her eyes sparkle as if there were a million stars beaming down upon us. I put an arm around her and held her close. Not only was it dark, but the October chill had come, and her warmth protected me from it, at least on one side.

She kept poking at the thing I’d originally thought of as a phone, and numbers and symbols danced before my eyes. I understood very little of it, but whatever it said, it was making her happy, and that was all I needed.

“There,” she said, and with one last tap the screen flashed and a countdown started. Five minutes. I didn’t know if that was a long time or a short time for this kind of thing.

“How does it work again?” I’d asked once before, and she’d just kissed me until I forgot why I’d ever been curious.

She kissed me again, but this time I pushed her away. “Please?”

“I would tell you if I could. I really would. But I promised I would be the only one on Earth who understood this thing.” She kissed me again, but quickly. “And does it really matter how? You and I will be together. Isn’t that enough?”

This time, I kissed her. The timer was somehow down to thirty seconds. She was right. It was enough.